Training on good agronomic practices

Published: 03 March 2021
Last edited: 03 March 2021

ICARDA developed a suite of best-bet agronomic practices to guarantee excellent establishment (survival and vigour) and maximize productivity and carried out extensive awareness and capacity development alongside National Agricultural Research System (NARS) and national development agencies to change farmers' perceptions, attitudes and practices toward cactus pear, while training them on cactus pear as income generator.

Classifications

Category
Co-management building
Education, training and other capacity development activities
Evaluation, effectiveness measures and learning
Technical interventions and infrastructure
Scale of implementation
Local
Phase of solution
Entirety

Enabling factors

  • High participation of motivated farmers.
  • Focus on women to alleviate hardship for gathering feed resources for their livestock.
  • As well as youth with entrepreneurship mind to initiate start-up business for marketing cactus product (value chain).
  • Good agronomic practices play a crucial role in achieving high and sustainable yields. 
  • Involve more actors like NGOs, decision-makers, private sector.

Lessons learned

Cactus pear should not be fed alone to livestock and should not be grazed directly. Training of farmers on how to prepare a balanced diet for their animals using available by-products is needed. Furthermore, cactus as a fodder crop can address the widespread shortage of green fodder and reduces livestock watering, particularly during the summer months when high temperatures and water scarcity threaten food security in parts different countries.

 

For those farmers interested in cactus fruits, special attention is given to site selection. Additional care including drop irrigation, fertilization and thinning is needed to reach optimum productivity.

 

With additional effort, through farmers’ education and information sharing, the improvement in productivity could be substantial while alleviating pressure on already depleted natural resources and reducing the time and distance that women and girls need to travel to collect fuel (firewood).

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